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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Strikeforce Nashville

Though many may consider men who enter an mma proving ground little more than hired human pitbulls ripping each other apart for massive money and radical amusement, I tend to reject this view via a yawn of black hole, concluding that professional level mma is the combat of highly disciplined human spirits, opposing each other for but the duration of the bout, probably ending up as unified in the process as we could conceive, simply through their magnificent shared experience of being in a cage where the damage one suffers is the wit one failed to exhibit. That is how, in my opinion, the mma fighter fights against herself/himself. The reaction of one's opponent is the reaction to whatever one could offer as offense.

Notice that the ultimately glorious moments of mixed martial arts are not of those of KOs and submissions. They are of those of hugging the formal rival at the end of the bout, circulating the most honest, pure respect spirit and related (?) intelligence may come upon, the limitless respect each fighter deserves simply by making an attempt of expressing themselves thoroughly, honestly on the proving grounds. The biggest respect one could give is the assumption that one needs every skills- and wits to neutralize the rival. A fight is nothing less than the expression of these skill sets, put though to the test utterly and completely, instead of infinitely theorizing about them. The most glorious moment of the bout emerges in the form of the ensuing peace between the fighters, a legit, palpable sensation, unifying the former enemies and the grateful audience once the collision reaches its conclusion.

This is a review of the latest Strikeforce event to date, Strikeforce - Nashville.

Introductory thoughts about the more significant lineups

Strikeforce has a special night indeed, claiming the promotion offers a free card on national television which lists and delivers collisions of pay per view caliber. Seeing how the night features three championship bouts and six top of the food chain Strikeforce notabilities in them, it is safe to say that the promotion did everything in their power to assuage the dire need of the fans to see Fedor Emelianenko in action. Originally, Strikeforce Nashville planned to put Fabrizio Werdum against Fedor, but the Russian phenom's primer promoter, M1 Global was not entirely satisfied with the conditions settled between Strikeforce and the aforementioned Russian promotion. Fortunately, negotiations brought agreement, but, as for the next performance of Fedor, brought a little bit of delay, as well. While The Last Emperor is likely to make an attempt at Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem in the near future, the Nashville card is as solid of a roster as you can get from the organization without featuring these particular heavyweight top dogs.

Former Pride! and UFC Legend, Dan Henderson steps up against Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields to - bizarrely enough - take the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion title.

Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez greets Shinya Aoki in the organization with nothing less than a title defense, as Aoki comes to this bout as the fighter of higher consensus caliber. While Melendez renders this title defense
with the agenda of destructing a prestigious name, Aoki needs to prove that Melendez is not a fighter who is ready to negate the masterful submissions Shinya is notorious of.

Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi collides with King Mo Lawal, instantly summoning the promise of massive fireworks mma aficionados are eager to see being realized tonight.

Gegard Mousasi VS King Mo Lawal

Though not many would have thought that this match has a chance of going to the distance, it does, and resonates similar sequences of actions all the way through. The story of the fight is Lawal's relentless intent to take his rival down, and masterfully brings these attempts to dynamic fruition each time he decides to. It is clear that Mousasi's gameplan is to tire King Mo out on the ground, regardless how he - Gegard - is on his back. While in the earlier periods of the collision, Mousasi indeed shows considerable skills at offering solid resistance from the lower position, yet King Mo does not show the desperately low energy levels the reigning Champion probably hoped he would. King Mo's takedowns already are numerous AND counting, and all of a sudden Mousasi no longer seems to be particularly comfortable on his back, slowly and surely losing all control whatsoever of where-, and how this fight takes place. My impression is that Mousasi considered himself to be a more versatile fighter who may get away with the victor "simply" by tiring out his rival and move in for the kill, but this strategy collapsed utterly and completely, rendering you Gegard in the position of the hunted and harassed at the end of the day. King Mo Lawal is rightfully crowned as the new Srikeforce Heavyweight Champion as result of his ability of sticking to a gameplan and executing it with relentless will and raw power.

Gilbert Melendez VS Shinya Aoki

Shinya Aoki showcases his amazing skill set of how to be bullied around the cage for the duration of five five minute rounds, having virtually nothing to offer except the solid defensive work Melendez forces him to exhibit without no end. As a fighter of higher consensus rankings Aoki might have come, yet he leaves the cage tonight as the utterly defeated, as result of having no antidote to the fervency his opponent subjected him to. Dominant performance by Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez.

Jake Shields VS Dan Henderson

Dan Henderson comes in with a stellar opening, finding a home for his right hand of stopping power on two separate occasions, knocking down the reigning Champion and maintaining the role of the aggressor. In-, and from the second round on though, Henderson shows to be unable to prevent Shields' sound takedowns, and offers no resistance from the consecutive inferior positions he finds himself in. Shields mounts Henderson in the second round, administering effective ground and pound. Shields mounts Henderson in the third, fourth and fifth rounds as well, accumulating no less than 11 separate occasions of gaining and maintaining dominant positions. Having few if any alternatives than to bring desperate conclusion to this match with the dynamites Henderson sports as his right fist, the former Pride! and UFC notability still ignites his primal standup weapon, but finds no home for the strikes this time. After a catastrophic opening round, Jake Shields comes back on the tides of sheer will, scoring takedowns, controlling Henderson on the ground and delivering mild-, nevertheless efficient punishment. Jake Shields defends his title and remains the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion.

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